So many people viewed yesterday’s blog post, many of you taking the time to write a note via Facebook expressing your sympathy and heartfelt condolences for me and my wife on the anniversary of our first child’s birth/death. I want to thank each and every one of you who took the time to read and respond. It is gratifying to know that neither myself nor my wife nor our children go through the difficult times in life alone.
Today, as I returned to work, I struggled with clarity. The events of the weekend, the emotional toll they took on me, left me feeling a bit like someone at sea for the first time: off-balance, longing for stability. I couldn’t see things clear – not from a physical perspective, but a metaphysical one. I know I’ve referenced this movie before, but today was like being a pirate on the Black Pearl – no food satisfied, no drink quenched, no pleasure pleased. I was a mess.
I still don’t have clarity. I don’t know when (if?) I will again. I wonder sometimes if we’re meant to go through life with less than total confidence – if we’re meant to be dependent on other people in order to make it through. If you’re not a particularly religious person, then you can skip over this sentence, but for those of you who grapple with issues of faith, I wonder if the calamities we experience aren’t meant to remind us that we need God. We need something larger than ourselves.
I don’t know how I feel about that perspective – on the one hand it seems overly simplified, and on the other it almost seems sadistic. The one thing it isn’t is comforting. It’s a scary thing to know that you HAVE to rely on others, be they doctors or nurses or teachers or bus drivers or co-workers or bosses or the person you sleep with at night. It’s frightening to put your life into the hands of someone who may not have their own lives together. And yet that’s where we find ourselves – in the laboratory of community. Things may go great in the lab, or they may blow up in our faces, leaving us all scarred and ready to run. I guess it just depends.
All I know is that yesterday, when I needed the community, the community came through. You gave me clarity through your sincerity, and for yesterday, it was enough.